The best job I ever had was as a principal. Yes, there were lots of days when I was frustrated and overwhelmed, but most days were extremely rewarding. Some days I had to go looking for that rewarding feeling. A visit to kindergarten or a master teacher’s classroom always made the worst day go away. There is nothing like a kindergartner telling you how beautiful you are, even when you forgot to comb your hair or seeing a struggling reader see success. So how did I sustain my love of the job while putting out fires, being bombarded with discipline issues, district, state and national mandates while improving student achievement and looking out for the whole child?
Delaware Academy for School Leadership
DASL Staff Blogs
The Road Not Taken
One of my favorite poems is Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken. At the end of the poem, Frost says, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” As an educator for many years, I have learned from experience that if we are going to be leaders of change two things are important. The first is to be a learning leader. The second is to be a risk-taker and take the road less traveled. I have tried to be both throughout my professional career. I thought it might be helpful to others if I shared how I have approached both.
Old School – In the Weeds
Self-awareness is the key cornerstone to emotional intelligence, according to Daniel Goleman. The ability to monitor our emotions and thoughts from moment to moment is key to understanding ourselves better, being at peace with who we are and proactively managing our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.